On getting “Girled” or “Chicked”…..


The following Facebook meme made me chuckle. I’ve heard it called “getting girled”. Basically: this is what happens when a male track team member gets beaten by a female.

In sports like swimming and track and field (e. g. “athletics”, which includes running and race walking), this concept really only makes sense for the stronger male competitors.

There WAS a time in my life when, on rare occasion, I might finish ahead of the first female. This only happened at small, local races. It isn’t that much of a surprise; after all, if one looks at the results of high school track meets, sometimes, in a dual meet between small schools, the girl’s mile is won in a time over 5:30. That is a time I could run…a long time ago. So could many other in shape “workout bros”.

But now that I’ve gotten older, when one takes into account age and sex, I can compete on even terms with females in the 36-40 year old age group. Hence my natural advantage is gone and I don’t even think about trying to mix it up with the faster women; about the only time I notice them is when they are cooling down on the course and I am finishing up.

Frequently, even the older ladies beat me (example:)


Now sometimes, a woman will show up at a local race and beat everyone; this happened at the Galesburg Half Marathon in June 2012.

And in the longer events: ultra walker Sandra Brown has frequently beaten the entire field in a 24 hour walk; she did that in 2004 at the Wandelweekend in the Netherlands.
That was merely one of many “outright victories” for her.

In ultra swimming: Peggy Lee Dean and Lynn Cox both held the human record for the English Channel Crossing (at one time).

But in the vast majority of races where there are no outliers (e. g., an elite showing up at a non-elite race), the male winning time will be better than the female winning time.

And the concept of getting “girled” or “chicked” has never applied to me in running, walking or swimming. I simply am not good enough for it to have ever mattered.

Now in the weight room: When it comes to pull ups and, say, the bench press, there are women who can exceed what I do but they tend to be outliers (e. g. perhaps a shot putter at a Division I university would out bench me…and I mean “real” bench pressing, not that “bench shirt” stuff). And plenty of women can do more pull ups than I can (think: gymnasts) but they also tend to be moderate outliers; you tend to not see them at the places where I work out. You’d see them at gyms that cater to the more athletic crowd.

April 17, 2014 Posted by | running, ultra, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Not one of my better workout days

I was just a bit tired and off. Not terrible. Just a bit off.

Swim: 2 x 250 (alt fist/free)
5 x (25 catch up, 75 free)
4 x (100 drill/swim (fins), 150 free). Chased the young woman.
4 x (25 fly, 25 back).

Later: weights.
rotator cuff, hip hikes, Achilles, side plank, McKenzie
pull ups: 5 x 10 (last set was better)
incline: 8, 7, 8 x 140 (weak)
military (dumbbell) 3 sets of 12 x 50
curls: 10 x 25, 2 sets of 10 x 30 (dumbbell)
upright rows: 2 sets of 10 x 25 (forearm pain, right arm), 10 x 35 pulley (less pain)
Hammer rows: 3 sets of 10 x 210
pull down: 3 sets of 10 x 160.

I just had very little energy, though the amount of weight that I used wasn’t that off.
But, I have to remember: I had good days on Saturday (half marathon), Monday (swimming: 100′s) and yesterday (26:06 solo 5K with 7:50 for the final mile). So I was due for a down day.

April 16, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | Leave a comment

Finally: some progress in swimming

I haven’t lifted yet (will catch a quick 40-50 minutes in between classes at the university gym).

But I did swim.

500 warm up (easy)
5 x 100 on the 2 (alt 25 fist, 25 free). The idea: swimming a length with closed fists encouraged to pull with a “high elbow” and use the forearm area. Mostly: 1:47-1:50 (one slow one)
10 x 100 on the 2: first 5 were 1:41-1:42; next 5 were all under 1:40 (1:37-1:39). That is my best set in a long, long time (2-3 years?)
100 back (fins)
4 x 25 fly (fins)

Yes: the 10 x 100 set would be glacially slow compared to what a good swimmer could do, and back in 2008-2009 even I was doing them much faster than that. But it is a “recent best” for me, which indicates that my body is adjusting to swimming.

Later: weight training: Achilles, hip hikes, rotator cuff, McKenzie, planks

pull ups: 5 sets of 10
bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 180, 2 x 180, 9 x 160
military (standing, barbell) 10 x 85, 7 x 85, 7 x 85
dumbbell upright row: 3 sets of 10 x 25
dumbbell curl: 3 sets of 10 x 30
Hammer row: 3 sets of 10 x 210
pull down: 3 sets of 10 x 160

This wasn’t my worst.

April 14, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

Too much? I don’t care…

It was my intention to take it easy today, and in terms of effort: yes.
swim: 4 x 250 (slow…5:05! then the rest were 4:45)
6 x 100 (alt fist/free) on the 2:05 (1:55 each)
200 in 3:45
6 x (25 fly, 25 back) with fins
100 IM

Not much effort.

Weights (after my 9-10 class):
hip hikes, rotator cuff, Achilles, McKenzie.
pull ups: 2 x 15, 2 x 10 (strong)
military presses: 3 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported)
dumbbell upright rows: 3 sets of 10 x 25
dumbbell curls: 3 sets of 10 x 30
Hammer Machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 210
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
incline presses: 2 sets of 10 x 135 (had to work)
dumbbell bench press: 1 set of 10 x 70

I had enough; still this was 45-50 minutes.

Tomorrow’s Half Marathon: I am walking; I don’t know what to expect. I’ll “just walk” and not worry about splits; the idea will be to “not kill myself” and get a baseline to base a walking marathon goal off of.

April 11, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | 3 Comments

Swimming: technique dependent …..

One of the weird things about swimming: in running, being in some semblance of shape is important. For example, if someone who ran a 4:20 mile in college decided to couch potato it for a while and, say, gain 50 pounds, well, their first time out, their running will be a disaster. Even I would be able to beat them…for a while. Then they would get in shape…and game over.

But in swimming: I’ve seen guys so fat that their bellies hung over their speedo and their bellybuttons pointed at the ground. But in the water…at least for a little while….BAM. They just lap me repeatedly and easily.

The reason: swimming is highly technique dependent. So, sure, they wouldn’t be able to beat a good swimmer, but beating the likes of me: no sweat.

I got a brief reminder of that today.

500 warm up (9:30)
5 x 100 on the 2 (1:41-1:42 at first..then increased to 1:46?)
5 x 100 on 2, alternating fist/free: 1:46-1:47 each (???)
5 x 100 on 2, 1:40-1:42.
200 with fins, alternating back/fly

That middle “fist” set seemed to smooth things out and I was better.

Later I got in a longer lifting workout. I had intended a brief 30-40 minute session and it grew to 65 minutes:

Supplemental: hip hikes, Achilles, rotator cuff, McKenzie, planks (these take some time)
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (strong, varied the grip)
incline: 2 sets of 10 x 140, 4 x 150
dumbbell superset: military: 12 x 50 (3 sets), curl: 10 x 30 (3 sets), upright row 10 x 25 (3 sets)
pull-down: 2 sets of 10 x 150 “other machine”, 10 x 160
rows (“other machine”), 10 x 110 (3 sets)
3 sets of twists, sitbacks, weighted crunches.

April 9, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

1000 yd swim: not what I wanted to hear….

Workout notes
500 warm up.
1000: I used the pace clock and attempted to keep track of my laps in 5 lap increments. 18:40. Not what I wanted to hear….but probably accurate.

In short: that 1000 was at a slower pace than I did the 2008 Big Shoulders open water 5K. But, I’ve been away for a while and it will take more swimming and more time for some of it to come back. And that was 5.5 years ago….

I finished with 200 back (fins), 8 x 50 on the 1 (25 fist, 25 free; mostly 50 but one 53), 50 fly drill, 2 x 25 fly (fins)

Then later: weights. I added two sets of abs (twist, back extend, crunch), planks (front, side) and McKenzie as well as rotator cuff, Achilles and hip hikes.

pull ups: 15, then 4 sets of 10
dumbbell military (3 sets of 12 x 50)
dumbbell upright row (3 sets of 10 with 25)
dumbbell curl (3 sets of 10 x 30)
dumbbell bench: 3 sets of 10 x 70
Hammer Machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 210
pull down: 3 sets of 10 x 160.

My left shoulder (tip of deltoid) is oh-so-slightly sore and “clicky”; it would be weather too. No more straight 1000′s for a while. I need to stick to 100′s and 200′s until my body position improves.

April 7, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

I CRUSHED my recent 5K run time today….but….

Today I ran the Kappa Delta 5K and CRUSHED my recent 5K time finishing in 22:31, which is my fastest time since 2002 and 2:30 faster than I’ve done over the past 3 years! But…….


Yes, this is the course map. The usual campus 5K course is the blue plus the red…today we ran only the blue.

So, let’s look at this logically:

The case for the course being accurate:
1. I want it to be.

The case for the course being short:
1. The Garmin measurements I’ve heard were 2.78, 2.8, 2.8 and Google maps got it at 2.82.

2. My time at the known 2 mile mark was 15:56 and I finished 6:36 later…6:36 for 1.1 miles?

3. If this course really were 2.8 miles, then according to the usual time conversion formulas, an equivalent 5K time would be 25:05 (I ran 25:09 last weekend) and my mile would be 7:13 (I ran 7:17 solo last week).

4. According to the above map, this course cut off about 0.3 miles off of the “usual” 5K course.

5. Last week’s 5K ended with a “lap around the block” because the course without the lap would have been 4.5 km. Hence we passed the finish clock twice…and when I saw it the first time it was: 22:3x…just like today.

So, after weighing the evidence: this was a real 5K. :-) (just kidding)

I was ok with my pace (8:02 minutes per mile) though I really, really want 7:5x.
I didn’t have any kick left and got passed by a student right at the finish line.

The day: sunny…clear, cool (40′s) though there was too much auto traffic on the course.

Still, I felt reasonably good at mile 2 and slowed by 7 seconds over the past .8 miles. I could feel my turn over slowing a bit; I need to concentrate more.

I got to see Bill and Andy there; that was nice. Though there were a few other “older” people there, this was mostly students and I’d like to work on finishing further up in this crowd.

Afterward: I walked to get a cool down, jogged a bit, then lifted weights:

rotator cuff, hip hikes, Achilles, McKenzie
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (no energy, but these were good pull ups)
bench press (pathetic): 10 x 135, 9 x 160, 8 x 160
upright rows: 3 sets of 10 x 25 dumbbells
military press (standing, barbell): 10 x 85, 7 x 85, 8 x 85
curls: 3 sets of 10 x 30 (dumbbell)
Hammer Machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 210
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160

I had low, low energy throughout.

Then I had Indian lunch with Barbara and a new friend.

I might check out the McNaughton (er…Potawatomi ) runs later this weekend and maybe pace someone tomorrow morning.

This year:

5 April 22:31 (2.8 miles) 25:05 5K
29 March CIDA 25:09 5K
1 March: 27:27 for 3.25 miles: 26:10 5K.

April 5, 2014 Posted by | running, weight training | | Leave a comment

Swim progress and passion….it is limited

500 easy
500 in 8:40 (pushed a bit; catching up to those two young women)
5 x 200 on the 4:00: 3:25, 3:25, 3:22, 3:23, 3:21. (about 10 seconds slower (each) than where I want to be eventually)
4 x (25 back, 25 fly) fins (cool down)

That was encouraging.

After class, weights:
hip hikes, Achilles, rotator cuff, McKenzie.
pull ups: 2 x 15, 2 x 10 (strong today)
incline press: 10 x 135, 10 x 140, 3 x 150 (didn’t feel like pushing on the last set)
military press: 3 sets of 12 x 50 (seated) (dumbbell)
rows: upright: 3 sets of 10 x 25 (dumbbell)
curls: 3 sets of 10 x 30 (dumbbell)
rows: (Hammer): 2 sets of 10 x 210, 10 x 200 (out of gas so I lowered the weight for the last set)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160

This wasn’t that bad of a session, but I never dug deep for those last reps. I think that mentally, I was in the “ok, keep your form good and get it done” mode.

The amount of passion I have for sports is limited and if I do several activities, some will be my focus and others will be supplemental.
Right now: it is running that is my number 1 interest (short distance: 1 mile to 5K), swimming second (on my way up here) and walking third. Lifting: I’ll keep doing it, but I won’t be getting 200+ in the bench press any time soon.

April 2, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

Ultramarathon walking: once a spectator sport?

Workout notes
Early AM: swim. 2200 yards. Basic: 8 x 250 on the…well…5..then 4:45. Reps were between 4:25-4:40 (faster as I went on), then 100 fly drills (fins), 2 x 25 fly (fins), 2 x 25 fly.

Weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10…tired), hip hikes, Achilles, rotator cuff.
dumbbells: 3 sets of 12 x 50 military, 3 sets of 10 x 25 upright row, 3 sets of 10 x 30 curl, 3 sets of 10 x 70 bench.
Hammer Machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 210
pull downs: 10 x 150 machine, 2 sets of 10 x 160 (usual machine).

Barbara was there with her trainer, so I made sure that Barbara saw a couple of sets. :-)

Ultra walking: in the days of “live only” action, races of 6 days were actually professional.

Ha! I suppose I am 100 years too late? Well….no. My best ultra walk is 101 miles in 24 hours, and world class is upwards of 200 km (124 miles). I would have sucked then too. :-)

March 31, 2014 Posted by | swimming, walking, weight training | , | 1 Comment

CIDA 5K: chilly, overcast but fun…getting there

The facts: my 5K was 25:09; I beat that time 4 times in 2012 (out of 16 races) and once in 2013 (out of 16 races). This grades out to a 7:14 mile (my mile time trials have been 7:32, 7:23 and 7:17…these were solo trials though).

Weather: overcast, freezing (32 F, or 0 C) and breezy. No snow, no rain, no ice. Great footing. The course was out and back with an extra parking lot lap around the end to get the correct distance.

Splits: 7:46 (wind aided?) 8:06 (15:52), 8:23 (24:15) (paid for that first mile), 0:54. I was straining to stay ahead of Pat O’Bryan and to try to catch Jerry K. Place: 29 out of 86:

The splits would indicate that I went out too fast, BUT I actually moved up from mile 1 to the finish; no one passed me in the final 2 miles. So, it might be that we had the breeze at our back going out.

The death on the final mile: part of that was my going too hard during Thursday’s 10K training run.

Socially: I enjoyed it. I went to the race with Tracy; she finished in just over 39 minutes and won the women’s 65-69 division. Yes, I remember her being in the 28 minute race oh-so-long ago. It happens to all of us…eventually.

I also got to visit with Jennifer (Athena class winner), Pat, Terry , Crystal (Female 50-54 winner), Bill and Diane (Female 55-59 winner). It is kind of neat to keep up with each other’s ups and downs; people tend to know who is doing well at the moment and who is in a performance valley.

As far as my performance: definitely one of my better 5Ks but hopefully, this is a stepping stone on the way up and not the destination.

Afterward: weights (after dropping Tracy off):
I didn’t have much energy.
Pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (got better)
rotator cuff, hip hikes, Achilles, McKenzie (I spend a lot of time on PT stuff)
incline press: 10 x 135, 10 x 135, 9 x 135 (not easy)
military press (supported, seated): 2 sets of 12 x 50
military press (standing) 8 x 85
upright rows: 3 sets of 10 x 25 (dumbbells, each arm)
rows (Hammer): 3 sets of 10 x 210
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160

So it went ok; definitely not my worst. I felt dumb: I wore my leggings under my shorts (too lazy to change) and a pink sleeveless (Komen race). But it was about getting it done.

Data and records

Last two years 5K runs. My first one of 2014 (equivalent to 26:10).

Who is on my radar: For now, Jerry to Diane. Crystal is a pipe-dream for now. :-) And I am well aware of Pat…at least when I am running well AND the distance is short. When I am not, she is too far ahead. And I am no match for her in the 10K and up.

Screen shot 2014-03-29 at 3.02.42 PM

March 29, 2014 Posted by | running, time trial/ race, weight training | , | 1 Comment


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